Traffic: How Back-ups Need to Be Dealt With

WOW, the internet and the newspapers and yes TV is full of news this morning.  Mr Business Golf is wondering where to start first…HUMMM

Let’s start with something that everyone who is going to out shopping or traveling on the highways during the Holidays is going to want to talk about or at least know what is behind the problem…and that is TRAFFIC…

Yes, every large, medium and small city deals with Traffic.  It seems that traffic during the Holidays really gets the editorials going and I picked up on one here in the Dallas Morning News, by Steve Blow,  that I know is happening everywhere and people should know how the officials are dealing with it.

Recently, like over the last full week, there have been some serious and unfortunate traffic accidences across the states that have closed down some of the major thoroughfares.  The one that was used in the report was a tractor-trailer accident just South of Waco Texas that closed down for over 10 hours both sides of the most traveled North-South Interstate in North America…Interstate 35.  And this was on Sunday the close of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the most traveled day of the year. 

Now the accident was tragic but the point of the report was to highlight how officials here, and assumingly across the country, are handling the traffic that is backed up.

The point that was made in the article is on the amount of time it took to clear the I35 accident….10 hours.  I agree, if I was in the traffic mess for that long I would be writing a steaming article also.  Just reading about this does make me think this problem.

Another example was where there was a person who committed suicide by jumping from an overpass in Far North Dallas onto another high traffic highway that caused another major and long back up.  This was the one that got the reporter to look into what the procedures are in serious traffic situations.

I am sure you will want to know that the people who are sitting in the backed up traffic is of no concern to the local law officials…seems procedures call for a full investigation of the scene has to be completed to gather physical evidence on each case.   A command post has to be set up to coordinate the investigation and an operations site has to be set up at the scene to, presumably, oversee operation…of what? We can only hope traffic…but it does not seem so.

Yes, I agree, if I was a family member of the person who was at the center of the investigation, either the person driving the truck or the person who committed suicide, I would want to have all of the information on what they found that caused the problem so preventive measures can be made.  Great plan.

But what is not in the plan is dealing with the traffic.  Seems the local and state officials are not interested into taking the time, not money, to look into how to deal with these type of situations before they happen…what I tell my clients is part of simple project or process management.   Doing some ‘What ifs’ doesn’t cost anything to sit and ask the question as you are developing a project or constructing a highway,… what if there is an accident right HERE.  How will traffic be handled?

It seem that is being done and the solutions are to build more highways or more access arteries that will carry traffic away from a highway that is blocked, but the state does not want to build these highways or arteries to keep the crowded highways and by-ways moving….or if they do, they do not know how to get them built QUICKLY or at least to the pace of a communities growing populations.

Nope, that is not in the plan here or anywhere across the country.  It is happening everywhere, not just in the big cities where there are millions of people trying to get somewhere, but it is happening in the rural areas also.  The time it is taking officials to clear a traffic mishap is getting longer and longer and as there is more traffic being placed on the highways due to the changes in our economy and society these timeframes of just a few minutes of traffic back-up get causing even more problems that the accident or mishap caused.

The report in this morning news concluded that there are legislators who are very concerned with this problem and are becoming watch dogs on keeping an eye on making sure the government is seriously looking for solutions and keep them moving to solving the problems now.

But, there is one thing I am sure should have been mentioned that Mr Business Golf will provide you and that is the by-products traffic hold-ups create.  The most obvious being the pollution…keeping those thousands of vehicles , or tens of thousands in the Interstate 35 accident, standing still with their motors running, that is not good for the environment or the vehicles. 

What about the emotional instable people who are also out there in those cars going no where?  What about the incidence of road rag that develops when one of the people who feel that because of their affluence they should be exempt from the back-up and cut across the medium of the highway or travel down the shoulder of the road triggering the others to demonstrate Road Rage….

All of these behaviors develop in the backed traffic and are the by-products of the officials not making their number one concern when a traffic accident happens to get the traffic moving immediately.  Doing this does not constitute others not showing respect for the unfortunate mishap and the fact that an accident happened and someone was injured or worst killed.  That is not what keeping the traffic flowing means…what it means is the officials need to get to the accident immediately and get the job done that is needed so EVERYONE can keep calm and respectful. 

There is no need for command posts and operations centers to be set up, they should already be set up off site and ready to go…get to the scene, make those professional evaluations based on years of training and experience, take action and do not accept any type of delay as part of the procedures.  There is too much technology out there at law and disaster officials’ disposal that is not being used due to it not being part of the procedures…that has got to change.

That is what Mr Business Golf has to say.  Just what makes sense…don’t you agree?

Have a Happy, safe and accident free Holiday.

Scot Duke is President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC and author of How To Play Business Golf.  Mr Duke uses his 30 years of business management experience to help business owners and executives develop their business to be more successful and mentor business people on how powerful of a business tool Business Golf can be towards solving many business challenges. More information on Mr Duke and Business Golf can is available at the Innovative Business Golf Solutions web-site.

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